Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

State Has Power To Enforce Isolation Of Individuals Deemed A Threat To Public Health

A "social distance zone" sign in a Neptune Beach neighborhood.
David Luckin
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida law allows the state Surgeon General to enforce the isolation or quarantine of individuals believed to pose a threat to public health.

Florida Statute 381.00315 states that the State Health Officer,  Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, has the power to order an individual to be “examined, tested, vaccinated, treated, isolated, or quarantined for communicable diseases that have significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger to public health.”

If an individual is unable or unwilling to be examined, tested, vaccinated, or treated due to health, religion, or other personal reasons, they may be asked to self-isolate or self-quarantine. If that person is deemed a danger to public health, “the State Health Officer may subject the individual to isolation or quarantine.”

If such an order is given, it is enforceable by a law enforcement officer.

If an individual violates such an isolation or quarantine order, it could be considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail or a fine of up to $500.

Related:  Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

If someone is suspected of posing a danger to public health, they can be reported to the local Health Department. In Duval County, that can be done in one of two ways: via email, at, or over the phone, at 904-253-1850.

Once received, the information is forwarded to the attention of the DOH’s attorney who will then investigate the situation.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Brendan Rivers comes to WJCT News with years of experience reporting and hosting news for several stations in the Daytona Beach area.